Showing posts with label elections. Show all posts
Showing posts with label elections. Show all posts

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Like Turnbull before him, Scott Morrison fails to connect with voters




In its national opinion poll released on 11 November 2018 Federal Primary Votes came in at:

Liberal-National Party 35 (-1)
Australian Labor Party 40 (+1)
Australian Greens 9 (0)
Pauline Hanson’s One Nation 6 (0)

These results gave this Two-Party Preferred Voting breakdown (based on 2016 federal election preference flows):

The Australian, Twitter, 11 November 2018


AAP General Newswire, 11 November 2018:

Bill Shorten has narrowed the gap to Scott Morrison as preferred prime minister as Labor extends its lead over the coalition in the latest Newspoll.

The coalition government has slipped further behind Labor in the latest Newspoll as Bill Shorten narrowed the gap to Scott Morrison as the nation's preferred leader.

The Liberal-National coalition now trail Labor by 10 points after slipping to 45-55 on a two-party preferred basis, according to the Newspoll published in The Australian on Sunday night.

The coalition’s primary vote fell by a point to 35 per cent - two points higher than the record low of 33 per cent.

Labor's primary vote, according to the national poll of 1802 voters, sits at 40 per cent - only the third time it has hit such a mark in almost four years.

The coalition has been behind on the primary vote since the leadership change in August.

Mr Morrison's latest effort to win back votes - his bus and plane tour of Queensland - appeared to not work with voters with his net approval rating sinking another five points to minus eight.....

Monday, 5 November 2018

Calling all Newtown, Erkinville, Redfern, Stanmore girls wherever you may now live - it's time to make history!


New South Wales goes to the polls on 23 March 2019 to elect a state government. It's everyone's chance to make a difference.

You may not know me, but people call me Aunty Norma. I'm a proud Wiradjuri woman and I've lived in the electorate of Newtown almost all my life.

I grew up in Redfern. Things were very different back then. Growing up was tough but we got by. My mother looked after us and because I was the baby, she took me everywhere with her.

I went to my local public school in Erskineville and Stanmore. As the only Indigenous kid in my class I remember sitting up the back and hoping no-one would notice me because I was so shy, but I knew all the answers and I always loved school.

My passion for education came from my mother. She taught me that education opens doors and that education is powerful.

After school, my love of education took me to Teacher's College and it was activists like Charles Perkins and Gary Foley who inspired me to make the journey to Harvard.

As the very first Aboriginal person to go to Harvard, I could not fail. I had to achieve.

With support from the Black Womens Action Group I got into Harvard. There were no scholarships back then. I did everything I could to survive and in 1985 I made history and graduated from Harvard with a Masters of Education.

This to me was such a proud achievement.

These experiences made me the community activist I am today. I fought to open the National Aboriginal College and started the Lions Club in Redfern.

I also started Murawina, the first fully run Aboriginal full day care early childcare program in Redfern.

I feel like I've come so far from the little girl who sat at the back of the classroom, but every day things get harder for people like me.

Rent goes up, bills get more expensive, Uni and TAFE get more out of reach and our income stays the same.

That's why I'm asking for your help to make history. I need your help to become the first Indigenous member for Newtown.

I really can't do this alone and I need everyone's support.

If you can donate a couple of dollars, get involved in my campaign or tell your friends and family about my story, it all makes a huge impact.

Looking back, the shy kid at the back of the classroom would never have dreamed about running for Parliament.


This is our chance to make history.



Aunty Norma
Labor Candidate for Newtown


P.S. If you would like to contribute, click here!
Keep up to date with NSW Labor on Twitter and Facebook. To make a donation to NSW Labor, click here.

 This email was authorised by Kaila Murnain level 9, 377 Sussex Street, Sydney.

Friday, 20 July 2018

Slowly but surely Russian connections between the UK Brexit referendum campaign and the US presidential campaign are beginning to emerge


“We have concluded that there are risks in relation to the processing of personal data by many political parties. Particular concerns include: the purchasing of marketing lists and lifestyle information from data brokers without sufficient due diligence, a lack of fair processing, and use of third party data analytics companies with insufficient checks around consent….We have looked closely at the role of those who buy and sell personal data-sets in the UK. Our existing investigation of the privacy issues raised by their work has been expanded to include their activities in political processes….The investigation has identified a total of 172 organisations of interest that required engagement, of which around 30 organisations have formed the main focus of our enquiries, including political parties, data analytics companies and major social media platforms…..Similarly, we have identified a total of 285 individuals relating to our investigation.” [UK Information Commissioner’s Office, Investigation into the use of data analytics in political campaigns: Investigation update, July 2018]

Slowly but surely the Russian connections between the UK Brexit referendum campaign and the US presidential campaign are beginning to emerge.

The Guardian, 15 July 2018:

A source familiar with the FBI investigation revealed that the commissioner and her deputy spent last week with law enforcement agencies in the US including the FBI. And Denham’s deputy, James Dipple-Johnstone, confirmed to the Observer that “some of the systems linked to the investigation were accessed from IP addresses that resolve to Russia and other areas of the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States]”.

It was also reported that Senator Mark Warner, vice chair of US Senate Intel Committee and Damian Collins MP, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee inquiry into “fake news”, met in Washington on or about 16 July 2018 to discuss Russian interference in both British and American democratic processes during an Atlantic Council meeting.

UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), media release, 10 July 2018:

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has today published a detailed update of her office’s investigation into the use of data analytics in political campaigns.
In March 2017, the ICO began looking into whether personal data had been misused by campaigns on both sides of the referendum on membership of the EU.

In May it launched an investigation that included political parties, data analytics companies and major social media platforms.

Today’s progress report gives details of some of the organisations and individuals under investigation, as well as enforcement actions so far.

This includes the ICO’s intention to fine Facebook a maximum £500,000 for two breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Facebook, with Cambridge Analytica, has been the focus of the investigation since February when evidence emerged that an app had been used to harvest the data of 50 million Facebook users across the world. This is now estimated at 87 million.
The ICO’s investigation concluded that Facebook contravened the law by failing to safeguard people’s information. It also found that the company failed to be transparent about how people’s data was harvested by others.
Facebook has a chance to respond to the Commissioner’s Notice of Intent, after which a final decision will be made.

Other regulatory action set out in the report comprises:

warning letters to 11 political parties and notices compelling them to agree to audits of their data protection practices;

an Enforcement Notice for SCL Elections Ltd to compel it to deal properly with a subject access request from Professor David Carroll;

a criminal prosecution for SCL Elections Ltd for failing to properly deal with the ICO’s Enforcement Notice;

an Enforcement Notice for Aggregate IQ to stop processing retained data belonging to UK citizens;

a Notice of Intent to take regulatory action against data broker Emma’s Diary (Lifecycle Marketing (Mother and Baby) Ltd); and
audits of the main credit reference companies and Cambridge University Psychometric Centre.

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said:
“We are at a crossroads. Trust and confidence in the integrity of our democratic processes risk being disrupted because the average voter has little idea of what is going on behind the scenes.

“New technologies that use data analytics to micro-target people give campaign groups the ability to connect with individual voters. But this cannot be at the expense of transparency, fairness and compliance with the law.

She added:
“Fines and prosecutions punish the bad actors, but my real goal is to effect change and restore trust and confidence in our democratic system.”

A second, partner report, titled Democracy Disrupted? Personal information and political influence, sets out findings and recommendations arising out of the 14-month investigation.

Among the ten recommendations is a call for the Government to introduce a statutory Code of Practice for the use of personal data in political campaigns.

Ms Denham has also called for an ethical pause to allow Government, Parliament, regulators, political parties, online platforms and the public to reflect on their responsibilities in the era of big data before there is a greater expansion in the use of new technologies.

She said:
“People cannot have control over their own data if they don’t know or understand how it is being used. That’s why greater and genuine transparency about the use of data analytics is vital.”

In addition, the ICO commissioned research from the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at the independent thinktank DEMOS. Its report, also published today, examines current and emerging trends in how data is used in political campaigns, how use of technology is changing and how it may evolve in the next two to five years. 

The investigation, one of the largest of its kind by a Data Protection Authority, remains ongoing. The 40-strong investigation team is pursuing active lines of enquiry and reviewing a considerable amount of material retrieved from servers and equipment.

The interim progress report has been produced to inform the work of the DCMS’s Select Committee into Fake News.

The next phase of the ICO’s work is expected to be concluded by the end of October 2018.

The Washington Post, 28 June 2018:

BRISTOL, England — On Aug. 19, 2016, Arron Banks, a wealthy British businessman, sat down at the palatial residence of the Russian ambassador to London for a lunch of wild halibut and Belevskaya pastila apple sweets accompanied by Russian white wine.

Banks had just scored a huge win. From relative obscurity, he had become the largest political donor in British history by pouring millions into Brexit, the campaign to disentangle the United Kingdom from the European Union that had earned a jaw-dropping victory at the polls two months earlier.

Now he had something else that bolstered his standing as he sat down with his new Russian friend, Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko: his team’s deepening ties to Donald Trump’s insurgent presidential bid in the United States. A major Brexit supporter, Stephen K. Bannon, had just been installed as chief executive of Trump’s campaign. And Banks and his fellow Brexiteers had been invited to attend a fundraiser with Trump in Mississippi.

Less than a week after the meeting with the Russian envoy, Banks and firebrand Brexit politician Nigel Farage — by then a cult hero among some anti-establishment Trump supporters — were huddling privately with the Republican nominee in Jackson, Miss., where Farage wowed a foot-stomping crowd at a Trump rally.
Banks’s journey from a lavish meal with a Russian diplomat in London to the raucous heart of Trump country was part of an unusual intercontinental charm offensive by the wealthy British donor and his associates, a hard-partying lot who dubbed themselves the “Bad Boys of Brexit.” Their efforts to simultaneously cultivate ties to Russian officials and Trump’s campaign have captured the interest of investigators in the United Kingdom and the United States, including special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

Vice News, 11 June 2018:

Yakovenko is already on the radar of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, after he was named in the indictment of ex-Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos….

Banks, along with close friend and former Ukip leader Nigel Farage, was among the very first overseas political figures to meet Trump after his surprise victory in November 2016.

It also emerged over the weekend that Banks passed contact information for Trump’s transition team to the Russians.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Oi! Malcolm Bligh Turnbull and every dumb-witted member of his federal government as well as every premier and member of a state or territory government – when are you all going to wake up to the fact that digital is bloody dangerous?


For literally hundreds of years now, first in colonial, then in dominion and later in federation periods, Australia has relied on a 'paper and ink' processes to decide major political votes by its eligible citizens.

By and large this system has produced reliable results with regards to the people's will.

However, in the 21st Century government's blind infatuation with digital 'innovation' is now dangerously out-of-control.

This is evidence of just the latest red flag that Australian governments have ignored ……

The Mercury online, 30 June 2018:

The personal information of about 4000 Tasmanian voters has been leaked after a data breach on a third-party website linked to express votes, the state’s Electoral Commission has revealed.

Tasmanian Electoral Commissioner Andrew Hawkey said hackers had access to the names, dates of birth, emails and postal addresses of those who applied for an express vote at the recent state and Legislative Council elections.

“Early today, the Tasmanian Electoral Commission was informed by the Barcelona-based company Typeform, that an unknown third party had gained access to one of their servers and downloaded certain information,” he said.

“Typeform online forms have been used on the TEC website since 2015 for some of its election services. The breach involved an unknown attacker downloading a backup file.

“Typeform’s full investigation of the breach identified that data collected through five forms on the TEC website had been stolen.”


The breach was identified by Typeform on June 27 and shut down within half an hour of detection, Mr Hawkey said.

“The Electoral Commission will be contacting electors that used these services in the coming days to inform them of the breach,” Mr Hawkey said.

“The Electoral Commission apologises for the breach and will re-evaluate its collection procedures and internal security elements around its storage of electoral information for future events. The breach has no connection to the national or state electoral roll.”

Mr Hawkey said some of the stolen information had previously been made public, such as candidate statements for local government by-elections.

Typeform said it had responded immediately and had fixed the source of the breach to prevent further hacks.

“We have since been performing a full forensic investigation of the incident to be certain that this cannot happen again,” a statement on the Typeform website read.

“The results that were accessed are from a partial backup dated May 3, 2018. Results collected since May 3 are therefore safe and not compromised.’

Typeform reportedly provides services for some pretty big names, including Apple, Uber, Airbnb and Forbes.

The hack comes after up to 120,000 Tasmanian job seekers may have had their personal information compromised following a data breach reported by human resources company PageUp in early June.

That site was linked to the Tasmanian Government and the University of Tasmania.
The State Government is still waiting for a further response from PageUp but it is believed the breach was limited to names, addresses, emails and phone numbers.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

At last! A way to gaol the entire Turnbull Government



Excerpts from the  Explanatory Memorandum for CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENT (IMPERSONATING A COMMONWEALTH BODY) BILL 2017

The Criminal Code Amendment (Impersonating a Commonwealth Body) Bill 2017 (the Bill) will introduce new offences and a new injunction power to prohibit and prevent conduct amounting to false representation of a Commonwealth body….

It is essential that the public can trust in the legitimacy and accuracy of statements made by Commonwealth bodies. The amendments are critical to ensure the public has confidence in the legitimacy of communications emanating from Commonwealth bodies, thereby safeguarding the proper functioning of Government…..

The Bill introduces a primary offence where the person is reckless as to whether their conduct will result in, or is reasonably capable of resulting in, a false representation. These amendments also create a new aggravated offence where a person engages in such conduct with the intent to obtain a gain, cause a loss, or influence the exercise of a public duty.

This bill finally passed both house of the Australian Parliament on 18 June 2018.

Of course the bill doesn’t actually allow the gaoling of every member of the Turnbull Coalition Government for two to five years.

A government whose members have turned the uttering of outright lies and the continual misrepresentation of fact into art forms. Who only pretend to be governing in the interests of the people.

But a voter can dream, can't she?

This bill was created with the sole purpose of providing the Turnbull Government with a weapon to use during the forthcoming election campaign.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

The reason Peter Dutton is looking so smug lately


Peter Dutton, 4 May 2016
Photo: Stephanie Peatling

Already a sitting member in a predominately 'white bread', somewhat politically disengaged Queensland electorate with a relativley large workforce and a stable employment rate, Liberal MP for Dickson, Minister for Home Affairs & Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton is exuding confidence bordering on arrogance.

Well he might - the Liberal Party having strongly lobbied the Australian Electoral Commission in last year's redistribution thereby slightly increasing the slim margin by which he holds the seat of Dickson, with $650,000 pledged to his 2018-19 election campaign chestlegislation transferring ASIO into the Home Affairs portfolio having received royal assent on 10 May 2018, on track to gain unprecedented control over the criteriagoverning citizenship acquisition, the time it takes for a person to gaincitizenship after their application has been approved, and even the circumstances in which citizenship can be revoked and, exercising his political muscle within his own party, he looks to be firmly in the driver's seat

The people of Kurwongbah, Petrie, Strathpine, Albany Creek, Ferny Hills, Everton Hills, Murrumba Downs, parts of Kallangur, Lake Samsonvale, Lake Kurwongbah and the rest of Dickson need to take a good hard look at their sitting member and ask themselves; do they really want to be responsible for re-electing Peter Dutton who is on his way to be the next far-right, authoritarian 'Trump' to head a federal government?

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

So many Newspoll losses mean democratic processes at risk as Turnbull Government strives to claw back political ground


“The Coalition now trails Labor by 47.5 per cent to 52.5 per cent in two-party terms across the four polls. This reflects a 48:52 result from Fairfax/Ipsos, the same from Newspoll, the same from Essential and a 46:54 result from ReachTel on March 29.” [The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 April 2016]

From May 2014 to September 2015 the Abbott Coalition Government experienced 30 consecutive negative Newspoll federal voting intentions opinion polls*.

After the sacking of Tony Abbott by his party and the installation of Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister the Turnbull Coalition Government saw 12 positive Newspolls before this second rendition of a Coalition federal government itself experienced 30 consecutive negative Newspolls from 12 September 2016 to 9 April 2018.

This polling history indicates that the Liberal-National federal government is likely to have only had the national electorate’s approval for around ten of the last thirty-seven calendar months.

According to the Australian Electoral Commission; As House of Representatives and half-Senate elections are usually held simultaneously, the earliest date for such an election would be Saturday 4 August 2018. As the latest possible date for a half-Senate election is Saturday 18 May 2019, the latest possible date for a simultaneous (half-Senate and House of Representatives) election is also Saturday 18 May 2019.

Given that (i) between them the Abbott and Turnbull governments have experienced  experienced only 12 positive polls in the last 68 Newspolls; and (ii) the Liberal Party has already admitted that during its successful March 2018 South Australian election it had utilised the services of one of the known “bad actors” on  the international election campaign consultancy scene, the US-based data miner i360; it is highly likely that “bad actors” will be employed once more and over the next four to thirteen months voters will be subjected to a barrage of misinformation, bald lies, vicious rumour and false promises from both Coalition politicians and their supporters in mainstream and social media.

Voters will have to fact check what they hear and read as never before.

* A federal voting intentions Newspoll is considered negative for one or other of the two main political parties based on two party preferred percentage results
Newspolls surveys normally occur every two to three weeks outside of election campaign periods when they are likely to occur more often.
Newspoll results can be found at https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/newspoll.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Are those nasty digital chickens coming home to roost for Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook?


In 2014 rumours began to spread about the about Strategic Communication Laboratries (SLC) Cambridge Analytica.

By 12 December 2015, after contacting Facebook's public relations representatives in London, The Guardian (UK) was reporting that:

"A little-known data company, now embedded within Cruz’s campaign and indirectly financed by his primary billionaire benefactor, paid researchers at Cambridge University to gather detailed psychological profiles about the US electorate using a massive pool of mainly unwitting US Facebook users built with an online survey.
As part of an aggressive new voter-targeting operation, Cambridge Analytica – financially supported by reclusive hedge fund magnate and leading Republican donor Robert Mercer – is now using so-called “psychographic profiles” of US citizens in order to help win Cruz votes, despite earlier concerns and red flags from potential survey-takers.

Documents seen by the Guardian have uncovered longstanding ethical and privacy issues about the way academics hoovered up personal data by accessing a vast set of US Facebook profiles, in order to build sophisticated models of users’ personalities.

By 6 January 2016 The Guardian was reporting on what was likely to turn up in Facebook feeds by way of political advertising:

If you lived in north-east Iowa, the evangelical stronghold where the battle for the soul of conservative American politics will play out in person on Monday, and happened to have given Senator Ted Cruz’s campaign your email address sometime in the last few months, you might find something especially appealing this weekend in your Facebook feed.

Even the most obtuse member of Facebook Inc.'s board or senior management would have been aware that the company was fast becoming an active participant in the US presidential primaries campaign. 

Fast forward to now as the chickens come home to roost.......
Google Search, 3 April 2018

The Guardian, 26 March 2018:

In rejecting the media’s characterisation of this large-scale privacy violation as a “data breach”, Facebook claims “everyone involved” in the 2014 data-siphoning exercise had given their consent. “People knowingly provided their information,” the company claimed. As with its interpretation of the word “clear”, Facebook seems to have a skewed understanding of what “knowingly” really means.

Facebook’s senior executives may now be feeling apologetic, “outraged” even. But in January 2016, as Trump surged in the polls, Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg, told investors the 2016 election was “a big deal in terms of ad spend”. In other words, a major commercial opportunity. The ability to target voters, she said, was key: “Using Facebook and Instagram ads you can target by congressional district, you can target by interest, you can target by demographics or any combination of those,” she boasted. “And we’re seeing politicians at all levels really take advantage of that targeting.”

It’s perhaps worth remembering, then, that until recently Facebook was encouraging political operatives to take full advantage of its garden of surveillance. And while aspects of the Cambridge Analytica affair may be surprising, and offer a disturbing glimpse into the shadows, the routine exploitation of information about our lives – about who we are – is what’s powering Facebook. It’s the behemoth’s lifeblood.

This was a statement from the U.K. Parliament House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee on 28 March 2018:

Christopher Wylie gave evidence to the Committee on Tuesday 27th March 2018 during which he referred to the evidence the Committee is publishing today. This session is available to watch. Please note the transcript will be published online shortly.

On Tuesday 20th March, the Committee Chair Damian Collins MP wrote to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, requesting oral evidence. Facebook have responded offering two senior executives. The Committee has accepted evidence from Chris Cox, Chief Product Officer, but has written today to Facebook to clarify whether  Mr. Zuckerberg will also appear himself, as requested. This matter was also raised with The UK Prime Minister Theresa May, in her evidence before the Liaison Committee on the evening of the 27th March. She said that Facebook should be taking the matter seriously.

On Thursday 22nd, the Committee wrote to Alexander Nix, the suspended CEO of Cambridge Analytica, recalling him to Parliament to give further evidence. Mr. Nix has agreed to come before the Committee again. You can watch the evidence session that took place on 27th February 2018 where Mr. Nix gave evidence on Parliamentlive.tv and read the transcript.


Monday, 26 March 2018

A brief scrutiny of the byzantium maze that is Cambridge Analytica


Attempting to make sense of a group of corporate actors who obviously delighted in establishing a veritable labyrinth of companies and to create a reference to follow any future revelations.........

So what does the British-US company Cambridge Analytica which; 
(i) has been accused of rat f**king the 2015 Nigerian presidential election and the 2013 & 2017 Kenyan elections
(ii) allegedly influenced the 2016 UK Brexit referendum vote by assisting the Leave.EU campaign
(iii) was known to have purchased data from Global Science Research Ltd who harvested personal details from an est. 50 million Facebook user accounts and, 
(iv) later sold a breakdown of user data first to a number of GOP candidates during 2014 midterms, as well as to Ted Cruz during the US primaries and then to Donald Trump during the 2016 US presidential campaign,
actually look like on paper?

This appears to be the company whose business name is included in so many media reports at the moment:

Cambridge Analytica LLC incorporated in Delaware USA on 31 December 2013 offering data mining, analysis, and behavioral communication solutions according to Bloomberg.com and, now considered a subsidiary of SCL Group Limited.

“The genesis of Cambridge Analytica was to address the vacuum in the US Republican political market that became evident after [Mitt] Romney’s defeat in 2012” [Alexander Nix, CEO Cambridge Analytics].

Executives

Alexander James Ashburner Nix  Chief Executive Officer
Julian David Wheatland Chief Financial Officer
Mark Turnbull Managing Director of CA Political Global
Thomas Finkle Global Head of Client Services

It shares its name with a UK Company CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA (UK) LIMITED - formerly SCL USA Limited incorporated 6 January 2015. 

Directors

NIX, Alexander James Ashburner Appointed founding sole director 6 January 2015. Only shareholder - in his own name and through another company solely owned by him,  SCL Elections Limited (incorporated 17 October 2012). 

SCL Elections Limited is described by Cambridge Analylitica as "an affiliate of Cambridge Analytica" and also the "genisis" of Cambridge Analytica. It is now being blamed for receiving harvested Facebook data and Cambridge Analytica is hypocritically trying to distance itself in a company media release on 23 March 2018.

The Cambridge Analytica website states it has offices in London, New York, Washington DC, Brazil and Malaysia. Until 20 March 2018 Alexander Nix was listed as its CEO. Acting CEO is now Chief Data Scientist at SCL Group Limited Dr. Alexander Tayler.

How do two firms on opposite sides of the world - one of which has only one director/owner and no indentifiable board members - suddenly become this company with reputed influence and tentacles everywhere?

Perhaps the answer lies in the est. US$15 million in indirect funding Cambridge Analytica has allegedly received from right-wing American billionaire Robert Mercer & his daughter Rebekah through one or all five affiliated US 'front' companies including Cambridge Analytica LLC and in its relationship with another UK corporation with which it shares information/data/personnel.

The remaining US 'front' companies are:

Cambridge Analytica Holdings LLC (Delaware (US), 9 May 2014- )
Cambridge Analytica Commercial LLC (Delaware (US), 21 Jan 2015- )
Cambridge Analytica Political LLC (Delaware (US), 21 Jan 2015- )

That other UK company is SCL Group Limited formerly Strategic Communication Laboratories Limited incorporated on 20 July 2005 by STG Secretaries Limited on behalf of an unidentified person/s, with an opening share capital of £100,000.

Directors

NIX, Alexander James Ashburner Appointed co-founding director along with Alexander Waddinton Oakes on 20 July 2005, resigned on 7 December 2012 and reappointed on 28 January 2016. Shareholder. Owner of Cambridge Analytica (UK) Limited.
OAKES, Nigel John Appointed on 3 October 2005. Shareholder.
GABB, Roger Michael Appointed on 10 November 2005. Shareholder. Ownership of shares – more than 25% but not more than 50%. Ownership of voting rights - more than 25% but not more than 50%
WHEATLAND, Julian David Appointed on 20 December 2007. Shareholder.

Barclays Bank PLC current lender to the company It seems this bank assisted in restructuring SCL Group Limited's finances.

Company Positions Identified by LinkedIn

United Kingdom
Web / Software Developer at Cambridge Analytica / SCL Group
Twickenham, United Kingdom
Current: Web Developer at SCL Group
Data Engineer presso Cambridge Analytica
London, United Kingdom
Current: Data Engineer at Cambridge Analytica & SCL Group
Account Director at Cambridge Analytica
London, United Kingdom
Current: Senior Project Manager at SCL Group
Chairman at SCL Group Chief Executive at Hatton International
London, United Kingdom
Current: Chairman at SCL Group
CEO, SCL Group - Behavioural Influence
London, United Kingdom
Current: CEO at SCL Group - Strategic Communication Laboratories
Financial Crime Investigations & Security Intelligence
London, United Kingdom
Current: Head - Fraud Surveillance, Corruption, Investigations at SCL Group
Head of Elections
London, United Kingdom
Current: Head of Elections at SCL Group
Lead Data Scientist at SCL Group
London, United Kingdom
Director of Operations (SCL) / Consultant (BDI)
London, United Kingdom
Current: Director of Operations (from 2011), Head of Infrastructures (2009-2011) at The SCL Group
DevOps Engineer at SCL Group
London, United Kingdom
Current: Development Operations Engineer at SCL Group
Senior Planning Engineer at SCL Group
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Community manager chez SCL Group
London, United Kingdom
Current: Community manager at SCL Group
Financial Controller at SCL Group
London, United Kingdom
Management Accountant at SCL Group
London, United Kingdom
Account Coordinator at SCL Group
United Kingdom
Paralegal
London, United Kingdom
Current: Paralegal at SCL Group
IT Support Analyst at SCL Group
Slough, United Kingdom

United States
Director, Business Development at SCL Group
Washington D.C. Metro Area
Senior Data Scientist at SCL Group
Washington D.C. Metro Area

Canada
Technical Manager at SCL Group
Alberta, Canada

Russia
Менеджер по закупкам - SCL Group [purchasing manager]
Russian Federation
Current: Менеджер по закупкам at SCL Group

Macedonia
Head of SCL Balkans at SCL Group
Macedonia

Germany
Project Manager bei SCL Group
Hannover Area, Germany
Current: Project Manager at SCL Group

Netherlands
Behavioural & Legal Research Scientist // BDI Consultant
Breda Area, Netherlands

Australia
Project Portfolio Manager at SCL Group Australia
Sydney, Australia
Current: Project Portfolio Manager at SCL Group

New Zealand
SCL Products Manager at SCL Group
Auckland, New Zealand

Malaysia
Head, CA Political/Commercial Southeast Asia
Putra Jaya, Malaysia
Current: Director of SCL Southeast Asia at SCL Group

India
Research Analyst at SCL Group
New Delhi Area, India
Director Business Development at SCL Group
New Delhi Area, India

China
CUSTOMER SERVICE at SCL Group
China

Open Corporates' Company Grouping for Cambridge Analytica

 SCL GROUP LIMITED (United Kingdom, 20 Jul 2005- ) directors
 SCL INSIGHT LIMITED (United Kingdom, 13 Sep 2016- ) directors
 SCL ELECTIONS LIMITED (United Kingdom, 17 Oct 2012- ) director
 SCL ANALYTICS LIMITED (United Kingdom, 23 Oct 2015- ) directors
 CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA(UK) LIMITED (United Kingdom, 6 Jan 2015- ) director
 SCL COMMERCIAL LIMITED (United Kingdom, 10 Jan 2014- ) director
SCL SOCIAL LIMITED (United Kingdom, 19 Feb 2013- ) director
 inactive SCL SOVEREIGN LIMITED (United Kingdom, 6 Jan 2015-28 Jun 2016) director Voluntarily dissolved June 2016
 inactive BOLDNOTE LIMITED (United Kingdom, 27 Oct 2004- 8 Jan 2013) directors Voluntarily dissolved January 2013
inactive SCL DIGITAL LIMITED (United Kingdom, 6 Jan 2015-28 Jun 2016) director Voluntarily dissolved January 2015
CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA LLC (Delaware (US), 31 Dec 2013- ) 
 inactive branch SCL USA INC. (Virginia (US), 25 May 2016-31 Jul 2017) 
 SCL USA INC. (Delaware (US), 22 Apr 2014- ) details
 branch SCL USA INC. (New York (US), 10 May 2016- )
 branch SCL USA Inc. (District of Columbia (US), 22 Apr 2014- ) 
 inactive Strategic Communication Laboratories LLC (Virginia (US), 7 Mar 2011-30 Jun 2013) 
 STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION LABORATORIES, INC. (Delaware (US), 23 Aug 2006- )
 CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA COMMERCIAL LLC (Delaware (US), 21 Jan 2015- ) 
 CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA POLITICAL LLC (Delaware (US), 21 Jan 2015- ) 


BACKGROUND

The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 March 2018:

Wylie, a Canadian citizen, moved to London in 2010 and started to work in 2013 for SCL Group, which he said conducted "information operations" around the world and also worked in campaigns, especially in African nations.

As research director, Wylie helped that company give birth to Cambridge Analytica as "an American brand" that would focus on US politics with at least $US10 million from billionaire hedge fund manager Robert Mercer. The Cambridge Analytica office was in the posh Mayfair neighbourhood of London, and the dozens of young workers - many of them contractors, a number of whom were from Eastern Europe - buzzed about with Apple laptops.

At the helm, said Wylie, was Mercer's daughter Rebekah, who was president, and conservative strategist Steve Bannon, who was vice president. Running day-to-day operations was a smooth-talking upper-crust Briton, Alexander Nix……

Wylie said that it was under Nix's direction - but with the knowledge of Bannon and Rebekah Mercer - that Cambridge Analytica began an ambitious data-gathering program that included tapping into the Facebook profiles of 50 million users through the use of a personality-testing app. The company did that with the help of a Russian American psychologist at Cambridge University, Aleksandr Kogan, who also made regular visits back to Russia, according to Wylie.

Wylie said he and others at Cambridge Analytica were initially skeptical of the power of this tactic for gathering data. But when the company approved $US1000 for Kogan to experiment with his app, he produced data on 1000 people who downloaded it and roughly 160,000 of their friends - all in a matter of hours.

Cambridge Analytica next approved $US10,000 for a second round of testing and was rewarded with nearly a million records, including names, home towns, dates of birth, religious affiliations, work and educational histories, and preferences, as expressed using the popular Facebook "like" button on many social media updates, news stories and other online posts.

They soon married that data with voter lists and commercial data broker information and discovered they had a remarkably precise portrait of a large swath of the American electorate.

Kogan's app, called "thisisyourdigitallife" and portrayed as being for research purposes, gathered data on the 270,000 people who downloaded it and tens of millions of their Facebook friends. It was this data and others that Wylie later worried might have ended up in Russian hands.

"I'm not saying that we put it on a drive and posted it to Vladimir Putin on Number 1 Red Square," Wylie said, referring to the Russian president's official residence. But he said that he and others affiliated with Cambridge Analytica briefed Lukoil, a Russian oil company, on its research into American voters. 


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The Guardian, 14 May 2017:

What was not known, until February, was the relationship between all these figures and the Leave campaign. That was when Andy Wigmore, Leave.EU’s communications director, revealed to this paper that Farage was a close friend of both Bannon and Mercer. He said that the Leave campaign was a “petri dish” for the Trump campaign. “We shared a lot of information because what they were trying to do and what we were trying to do had massive parallels.”

Wigmore also said that Mercer had been “happy to help” and Cambridge Analytica had given its services to the campaign for free. It was the general secretary of Ukip, a British lawyer called Matthew Richardson, who effected Leave.eu’s introduction to Cambridge Analytica, Wigmore said. “We had a guy called Matthew Richardson who’d known Nigel for a long time and he’s always looked after the Mercers. The Mercers hadsaid that here’s this company that we think might be useful.”

He said that Mercer, Farage and co had all met at a conference in Washington. “The best dinner we ever went to. Around that table were all the rejects of the political world. And the rejects of the political world are now effectively in the White House. It’s extraordinary. Jeff Sessions. [Former national security adviser Michael] Flynn, the whole lot of them. They were all there.”

When the Observer revealed Mercer’s “help” in February, a “gift” of services, it triggered two investigations. One by the Information Commissioner’s Office about possible illegal use of data. And another by the Electoral Commission. Cambridge Analytica is a US company and Mercer is a US citizen and British law, designed to protect its electoral system from outside influence, expressly forbids donations from foreign – or impermissible – donors. The commission is also looking into the “help” that Gunster gave the campaign. It was not declared in Leave.EU’s spending returns and if donated, it would also be impermissible. Gavin Millar QC, an expert in electoral law, says it raises questions of the utmost importance about the influence of an American citizen in a UK election.

But the contents of this document raise even more significant and urgent questions. Coordination between campaigns destroys the “level playing field” on which UK electoral law is based. It creates an unfair advantage.

Millar said that one of the significant and revealing aspects of the arrangement was that it was hidden. “It’s the covert nature of the relationship between these two companies and campaigns that I find particularly revealing and alarming. If there is covert cooperation via offshore entities, [it] is about as serious a breach of the funding rules as one can imagine in the 21st century.”

Millar said that this case was without precedent. “To have a billionaire so directly buying influence in a British election is absolutely unheard of. This is completely out of the ordinary. And what’s clear is that our electoral laws are hopelessly inadequate. The only way we would be able to find the truth of what happened is through a public inquiry.”

The link between Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ was never supposed to come to light. And it is still uncertain how Vote Leave came to work with AggregateIQ.
There are several major Tory donors and pro-Brexit figures associated with Cambridge Analytica and SCL Elections, including Lord Marland, former treasurer of the Conservative party and head of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council. The pro-Brexit Tory donor Roger Gabb, the owner of South African wine company Kumala, is also a shareholder and was involved in one of the Leave campaigns. In a separate incident he was fined £1,000 by the Electoral Commission for failing to include “imprints” – or campaign branding – on newspaper ads.

The Observer revealed last week that two core members of the Vote Leave team used to work with both Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ. Cummings said that he found the company – on which he spent by far the biggest chunk of his campaign budget – “on the internet”.


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Digital, Culture, Media and Sport CommitteeOral evidence: Fake News, HC 363, Tuesday 27 February 2018, Ordered by the House of Commons to be published on 27 February 2018.
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Cambridge Analytica is currently under investigation in the UK with the Information Commissioner's Office entering the company's London office under search warrant on 23 March 2018.